The Future of Farm Shares
Farmers across the US are facing various environmental challenges. This includes a loss of natural resources and soil nutrient depletion due to overuse of land. This, coupled with the fact that more people are living in cities, is forcing farming, and consequently farm shares, to innovate and evolve in new ways to work in densely populated areas.
Urban farming is “the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas” (Wikipedia). While you may be familiar with urban farms or community gardens located throughout the city, we wanted to share with you a few other innovations in urban agriculture. The following are trailblazing ways farmers are growing food in urban spaces while addressing environmental challenges that influence farm share programs:
Hydroponics: “the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil” (Agritecture).
Individuals can set up containers indoors and use nutrient enhanced water and LED lights to create a high-yield farm without dirt and sunlight.
Rooftop gardening/farming: the process of growing plants on rooftops.
Using rooftops for farming is space efficient and enhances a building’s architecture while providing a habitat for wildlife in populated areas. Rooftop gardens also help make buildings more energy efficient by helping to absorb some of the exterior heat and reducing cooling costs. Rooftop gardens are a great addition to future construction plans.
Vertical farming: the practice of producing food in vertical layers or vertically inclined surfaces and structures (which can include rooftop gardening and hydroponics)
Vertical farming enables farmers to be able to produce 10 acres worth of produce in only 1 acre of land reaching maximum spatial efficiency in a third dimension.
These farming practices utilized today will be further capitalized on in the future to overcome farming’s challenges. Farmers will be able to grow crops year-round despite their natural climates, pesticide usage will be eliminated, and natural resources will be conserved. What could this mean for farm share programs across the country? Lower prices, increased access to food, and improved public health. Farm shares’ future seems pretty bright.
“Urban Agriculture.” Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation Inc. June 20th 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_agriculture
“Soilless Agriculture: An In-Depth Overview.” Agritecture, Agritecture Consulting. March 12th 2019. https://www.agritecture.com/blog/2019/3/7/soilless-agriculture-an-in-depth-overview